Bookkeeper

Provide essential services to businesses, including processing and recording financial transactions.
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Bookkeeper

What's it like to be a Bookkeeper?

Bookkeepers are responsible for maintaining accurate records of financial transactions and producing financial statements. This may include preparing and lodging Business Activity Statements (BAS) for taxation purposes.

Tasks and duties

  • Recording the financial transactions of a business in bookkeeping software, spreadsheets or databases.
  • Preparing and sending invoices and receipts to debtors.
  • Processing payroll and maintaining employee records.
  • Reporting irregularities in data to management.
  • Producing balance sheets, income statements and other financial documents.
Bookkeepers usually work in small to medium sized businesses across a variety of industries. The scope of a Bookkeeper’s role and day-to-day tasks may vary based on the size of the business.

What can I earn as a Bookkeeper?

The most common salary  for a Bookkeeper is between $55k and $65k
Source: SEEK job ads and SEEK Profile data

How to become a Bookkeeper

Bookkeepers that provide BAS services for a fee must be registered with the Tax Practitioners Board. To apply for BAS Agent registration, you’ll need to complete at least a Certificate IV level qualification, such as the Certificate IV in Bookkeeping (FNS40215).
  1. Complete a Certificate IV level qualification, such as a Certificate IV in Bookkeeping (FNS40215) or Certificate IV in Accounting (FNS40615) in a TAFE institution.
  2. Complete suitable GST and BAS units, which can be included as part of the Certificate IV course, as well as work experience supervised by a BAS Agent.
  3. Apply to the Tax Practitioners Board to register as a BAS Agent.

Explore bookkeeping qualifications

Find out where you can complete a bookkeeping qualification, including online study options.

No education options are currently available
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Source: SEEK job ads and SEEK Profile data

What skills are employers looking for?

Employers want:

  • Communication skills
  • MS office proficiency
  • Thoroughness
  • MYOB proficient
  • Autonomy

Shortlisted applicants have:

  • MYOB proficient
  • MS office proficiency
  • Microsoft Excel
  • Payroll
  • Administration experience
Source: SEEK job ads and SEEK Profile data

How do Bookkeepers rate their role?

Latest reviews from 39 Bookkeepers surveyed on SEEK

Latest reviews

3 out of 5Jun 2018
Reviewer's Qualification
Certificate IV in Accounting
Experience
10+ years
Organisation size
Medium (20-199 employees)
The good things
Working with numbers interests me. But most importantly the challenge that I may face from time to time when I come across something new
The challenges
Very competitive industry especially when accounting firms are sending work offshore
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5 out of 5Jun 2018
Reviewer's Qualification
Certificate IV in Bookkeeping
Experience
1 - 4 years
The good things
Having the ability to choose whether to work remotely or on-site is great and enables me to juggle family and their needs as well as bring financially independent
The challenges
Bringing in new clientele and maintaining awareness of the newest technology and software available to keep you ahead.
Read more
4 out of 5Jun 2018
Reviewer's Qualification
Diploma in Accounting
Experience
5 - 9 years
Organisation size
Small (1-19 employees)
The good things
Interaction with clients who appreciate your work, most of them know how difficult bookkeeping is, which is why they hire you, so most are very appreciative which makes the job enjoyable.
The challenges
Lodging the BAS in time, if your hours are only small then it can be a challenge to get this done. The other challenge is making sure all the bookkeeping is to the Accountant's satisfaction. Consultin...
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Rating:4
Date received:Jun 2018
Subcontract Bookkeeping work can be hectic but extremely satisfying.
Reviewer's Qualification:Diploma of Accounting
Experience:10+ years
The good things:The good things about subcontractor Bookkeeping work are the opportunities to learn more than just data entry work. There are great ever changing software packages to learn and the reports that go with them. Learning these gives you a heads up in helping clients find solutions to their bookkeeping issues. By expanding your knowledge and skills you can become more like an advisor, making the bookkeeping work more interesting.
The challenges:Some of the challenges include allocating enough time to learn new accounting software packages and keeping up with changing taxation compliance. Also depending on how many clients you work for can mean very busy month ends and/or beginning of months.
Rating:4
Date received:Jun 2018
Bookkeeper is a basic but significant role
Reviewer's Qualification:Master of Business (Professional Accounting)
Experience:1 - 4 years
Organisation size:Small (1-19 employees)
Specialisation:bookkeeper
The good things:It a very detail role, basic but important for each company.
The challenges:Need to deal with a large amount transaction.
Rating:4
Date received:Jun 2018
Bookeeping is a reward within the position
Reviewer's Qualification:cert IV in Accounting
Experience:1 - 4 years
Organisation size:Small (1-19 employees)
The good things:The diversity of meeting people through my work who enjoy the same work ethics as my self
The challenges:must be good at keeping accurate records
Rating:4
Date received:Jun 2018
Bookkeeping is a great opportunity for self-starters
Reviewer's Qualification:Certificate IV of Finance
Experience:1 - 4 years
Organisation size:Small (1-19 employees)
Specialisation:Cloud software
The good things:Ease of access and potential for growth
The challenges:Getting market share of clients
Rating:5
Date received:Jun 2018
It's a varied role and no two days are the same
Reviewer's Qualification:Diploma in Accounting
Experience:10+ years
Organisation size:Small (1-19 employees)
The good things:It varies day to day, you manage your time accordingly and it never gets boring. Contact with external parties. Very fulfilling. Trying to get in touch with ATO via phone should be easier..that part is frustrating. Month end does not need to be stressful if throughout the month the process is streamlined.
The challenges:Getting support documentation from others.
Rating:4
Date received:Jun 2018
Bookkeeping is great!
Reviewer's Qualification:Bachelor of International business
Experience:1 - 4 years
Organisation size:Medium (20-199 employees)
Specialisation:Trust Accounting
The good things:bookkeeping/accounting is the key to making important decisions for business performance and work processes always continuously making it better and faster. attention to detail is a must
The challenges:making errors! human error is unavoidable but can be minimized! errors = -$
Rating:5
Date received:Jun 2018
Bookkeeping is taking mess and making it organised.
Reviewer's Qualification:None
Experience:10+ years
Organisation size:Small (1-19 employees)
The good things:I enjoy the satisfaction of having started with chaos, and then after getting myself organised and entering all necessary data, the reconcilliation balances. Also then filing all the paperwork knowing that is completed for now.
The challenges:It can be very stressful at certain times eg end of month with things needing to be completed in a short time period.
Rating:5
Date received:Jun 2018
Being a Bookkeeper provides great work/life balance if you have a family
Reviewer's Qualification:Certificate IV Finance (Bookkeeping)
Experience:10+ years
Organisation size:Small (1-19 employees)
The good things:I work for myself as a sole trader. I suit my own hours and love being able to help my clients remain compliant with current legislation. I am very organised and enjoy organising my clients financially.
The challenges:Registered Bookkeepers must be registered BAS agents if they want to do BAS and payroll for clients. To do this you must be insured and registered with the TPB. Every year, time must be spent keeping up with current legislation by attending seminars and conferences.
Rating:4
Date received:Jun 2018
Passionate about Bookkeeping and Finance
Reviewer's Qualification:Certificate 5 in Financial Accounting
Experience:10+ years
Organisation size:Small (1-19 employees)
The good things:Bookkeeping roles are varied & therefore provide you with an opportunity to constantly learn & be challenged. If you show enough initiative in your role you can start doing duties that would normally be carried out by the Accountant. I love working as a Bookkeeper & would highly recommend such a position for anyone with a passion for figures. Mostly I enjoy getting up & going to work. There are also a wide range of accounting packages out there & it is great exploring all the different packages. I would say the ideal Bookkeeping role would be within an Accounting Practice or Bookkeeping Service environment. That is my aim one day. They are the best environments to extend your skills & qualifications as they have varied clients with the opportunity to work on more than one accounting package.
The challenges:This one is difficult for me to answer because I really love my job. If I have to pick one thing I will say it is perhaps a little challenging meeting deadlines sometimes. Due to Bookkeeping being such a varied role with many different deadlines. You need to be a well organised person with the ability to manage your time & work independently.
Rating:5
Date received:Jun 2018
I love my job
Reviewer's Qualification:Certificate IV in financial services
Experience:10+ years
Organisation size:Small (1-19 employees)
The good things:Challenging work and is variable
The challenges:Keeping up to date with current regulations
Rating:5
Date received:Jun 2018
Bookkeeping is a challenge, but gets the brain working
Reviewer's Qualification:Diploma of accounting
Experience:5 - 9 years
Organisation size:Medium (20-199 employees)
The good things:Flexibility, learning, no day is the same
The challenges:Figuring out where certain items go
Rating:4
Date received:Jun 2018
Accounting is an art
Reviewer's Qualification:Bookkeeper
Experience:5 - 9 years
Organisation size:Small (1-19 employees)
Specialisation:Accounting
The good things:Learn more about the rules and regulation in government aspects.
The challenges:In making the annual financial and you need to meet the deadline
Rating:4
Date received:Jun 2018
Numbers are great to work with
Experience:1 - 4 years
Organisation size:Small (1-19 employees)
The good things:If you enjoy numbers and are fastidious, then this role is great for you! There is a lot of variety and it is very satisfying when the figures reconcile.
The challenges:The pressure is on when the figures don't add up or you have to do the end of month reporting.
Rating:5
Date received:Jun 2018
Bookkeeping is a challenge but is worth it.
Reviewer's Qualification:Cert 4 in Accounting
Experience:10+ years
Organisation size:Small (1-19 employees)
Specialisation:Accounting
The good things:Every day is different, vast variety of clients with different businesses.
The challenges:Watching small businesses struggle and trying to help with the best solutions.
Rating:4
Date received:Jun 2018
Bookkeeper-not for everyone but I like the challenge of getting it right
Reviewer's Qualification:Nil
Experience:10+ years
Organisation size:Medium (20-199 employees)
The good things:The good things are a varied workload, there are deadlines to adhere to and is ideal for people who like to further their knowledge base. The role ideally suits the personality type that likes to dot the i's and cross the t's. Once the basic bookkeeping principles are grasped there is the opportunity to further career choices in the accounting or finance sector. Suitable for people who do not require a lot of "people" interaction as it requires concentration on the task at hand. I like the role because I get involved in the actual "doing" and do not require a lot of personal interaction.
The challenges:The challenges of the role is being able to co-ordinate the work load in line with deadlines and being able to have the information at hand to complete lodgements.
Rating:4
Date received:Jun 2018
A Bookkeeper is secretly the most important person in a business.
Reviewer's Qualification:Bachelor of Business (Accounting)
Experience:5 - 9 years
Organisation size:Small (1-19 employees)
Specialisation:Accounting
The good things:You may work behind the scenes as a bookkeeper, but you have an important part to play in the running of a business. Who doesn't like feeling important! Your job allows you to see where every cent goes and this information can assist management when making major decisions. You have a variety of duties, not just invoicing and paying bills, but budgeting and perhaps payroll, which helps keep your days interesting. Plus you have a level of freedom on how and when you perform these duties. You're practically your own boss! One final good thing about being a bookkeeper is the exposure you can get to a range of different industries, from construction to entertainment, because every business needs a bookkeeper!
The challenges:Like many jobs, bookkeeping can have its quite times and you may become bored, but each month repeats itself and you'll soon be busy again. The most busiest and stressful times is at the end of each month and the end of the financial year, when financial reports are produced. This is where your time management and organisation skills will be utilised. Many bookkeepers work alone and not part of a team, particularly in small business, so you can often feel lonely and isolated from other employees.
Rating:5
Date received:Jun 2018
Bookkeeper
Reviewer's Qualification:Accounting
Experience:10+ years
Organisation size:Large (200+ employees)
The good things:Love the variety in different aspects of accounting, from journals to back reconciliation to Payroll, just the chance to make decisions and cost choices
The challenges:Deadlines, financial cut off times. Financial Close off l. You will need to be organised and have great time management
Rating:4
Date received:Jun 2018
Doing bookkeeping and Taxation returns gives a pleasing result to many people
Reviewer's Qualification:Certificate of Taxation Consultant
Experience:10+ years
Organisation size:Small (1-19 employees)
The good things:It was so pleasing to me to be able to help Clients who came to me and always seemed to leave in a happier frame of mind
The challenges:The Challengers now are you must have a piece of paper or letters after your name which doesn't make you a better consultant and often a worse one!
Rating:3
Date received:Jun 2018
My role is challenging but the days go fast
Reviewer's Qualification:Certificate IV in Accounting
Experience:Less than a year
Organisation size:Small (1-19 employees)
Specialisation:Bookkeeping
The good things:In my role I am in charge of the daily tunings of the office, manage a small team and take care of clients. I am also the first point of call for walkins and phone calls
The challenges:There are very quiet times about 1 week in 3 months and the rest of the time is crazy busy. Often I work extra hours
Rating:5
Date received:Jun 2018
I enjoy being a bookkeeper as its very rewarding
Reviewer's Qualification:CERT IV FINANCE/BOOKKEEPING
Experience:10+ years
Organisation size:Small (1-19 employees)
Specialisation:Trade Services
The good things:Its a very diverse roll as a bookkeeper as every business is different
The challenges:Keeping up to date with all legislations
Rating:4
Date received:Jun 2018
Compliance Officer
Reviewer's Qualification:Certificate IV in Accounting
Experience:10+ years
Organisation size:Large (200+ employees)
The good things:Paying my mortgage
The challenges:Not receiving information relevant to circumstances
Rating:4
Date received:Jun 2018
Bookkeeping can be very rewarding, get qualified so you know what you are doing
Reviewer's Qualification:Certificate IV in Financial Services (Bookkeeping)
Experience:10+ years
Organisation size:Medium (20-199 employees)
Specialisation:Payroll
The good things:Bookkeeping can be varied and challenging. Personally I love payroll and BAS as they require more skill and training.
The challenges:If you are only doing AP or AR, it can be monotonous.
Rating:5
Date received:Jun 2018
Bookkeeping is a very rewarding profession
Reviewer's Qualification:Certificatw IV in Accounting/Bookkeeping
Experience:10+ years
Organisation size:Small (1-19 employees)
Specialisation:Various role in bookkeeping
The good things:Being a bookkeeper you have a lot of responsibility. You have to be viligant & work with compliance with the ATO & Supet compliant. Being able to work with your Accountant is very important also.
The challenges:The hardest is making deadlines. Eg. BAS & IAS to the ATO & Superannuation via Super Stream. Your employer may get fines if you don't comply.
Rating:4
Date received:Jun 2018
Bookkeeping is about logic and balancing .. a challenge worth doing
Reviewer's Qualification:Certificate 4 Accounts
Experience:1 - 4 years
Organisation size:Small (1-19 employees)
The good things:Every day has the same tasks but different data .. always checking and making sure everything balances. Always job satisfaction when that happens.
The challenges:Every day is different but the main purpose is to make sure everything is entered correctly and it all balances. The same goes for reconciling the accounts .. I like the challenge of locating where an entry was put in wrong and to put it right to balance it again.
Rating:5
Date received:Jun 2018
Office Manager/Accountant is tough, challenging and I love it.
Reviewer's Qualification:Bachelor of Accounting
Experience:10+ years
Organisation size:Medium (20-199 employees)
The good things:Every day is different and challenging and you deal with so many different people from different walks of life from professional accountants and lawyers to the people who collect the skips. It can be a lot of fun.
The challenges:Dealing with lots of different people and having to do several different jobs at once. Everyone thinks their needs are the most important.
Rating:4
Date received:Jun 2018
Bookkeeping Administration can be challenging in a good way
Reviewer's Qualification:HSC
Experience:10+ years
Organisation size:Small (1-19 employees)
The good things:I enjoy the place l work at the owners are great. I get satisfaction from my work
The challenges:Having all the information needed to complete your work
Rating:5
Date received:Jun 2018
Winery Admin
Reviewer's Qualification:No qualification held
Experience:10+ years
Organisation size:Small (1-19 employees)
The good things:Be prepared for lots of variety, be able to multi-task and think on your feet.
The challenges:Must have good acumen for numbers or you just won't get it.
Rating:5
Date received:Jun 2018
See bookeeping as an art and you won't feel boring
Reviewer's Qualification:ACCA
Experience:1 - 4 years
Organisation size:Medium (20-199 employees)
Specialisation:Finance
The good things:Help the business owners make good decisions with the financial statements you produced.
The challenges:To update the financial data timely and accurately
Rating:5
Date received:Jun 2018
It’s a challenge some days but worth it in the end.
Reviewer's Qualification:Year 10
Experience:1 - 4 years
Organisation size:Small (1-19 employees)
Specialisation:Bas statements
The good things:You have something different to do everyday.
The challenges:You have to love what you’re doing if you don’t love it than don’t do it. I love what I do.
Rating:4
Date received:Jun 2018
Bookkeeping is like doing detective work in the accounts world
Reviewer's Qualification:Certificate IV of Bookkeeping
Experience:5 - 9 years
Organisation size:Small (1-19 employees)
The good things:It can be quite flexible and good for work life balance. While you are the all-rounder in the finance team, you have the accountants to turn to for advice when needed. It's a satisfying job if you enjoy crunching numbers and making sure everything is reconciled.
The challenges:Depending on how many accounts the company has, the workload gets a bit hectic at month end when everything has to be reconciled and ready for reports. Everyone asks you a lot of questions that needs to be answered urgently. End of financial year is when it gets even more crazy.
Rating:4
Date received:Jun 2018
Bookkeepers - financial detectives!
Reviewer's Qualification:Diplma of IT System Administration
Experience:10+ years
Organisation size:Small (1-19 employees)
The good things:Whilst many bookkeeping functions must be actioned daily, monthly and yearly, so much of the day to day work involves some investigation and discovery. This makes every day a challenging and varied work experience.
The challenges:You must be organised and have good attention to detail. It is also important to be aware of deadlines - you will encounter a fair few!
Rating:5
Date received:Jun 2018
If you love the magic of numbers, being a Bookkeeper is the job for you!
Reviewer's Qualification:Certificate IV Financial Services
Experience:10+ years
Specialisation:Small/Medium Private Business
The good things:I love being able to help small/medium businesses in the day to day tasks of their business. I enjoy being able to setup new procedures to streamline tasks and make processes more efficient. I enjoy being able to provide my clients with financial reports to enable them to see the profitability of their business.
The challenges:Sometimes you might face ‘push back’ from clients not wanting to change; even though you can see more efficient ways to do tasks. You may also encounter businesses with cash flow problems, or ATO debt and this can be stressful.
Rating:4
Date received:Jun 2018
Bookkeeper Assistant is a problem solving game.
Reviewer's Qualification:MYOB trained
Experience:1 - 4 years
Organisation size:Small (1-19 employees)
The good things:If you're good with numbers then this job will be a breeze. It's all about data entry and making everything match up.
The challenges:There are so many different systems out there. So just when you get the hang of one system someone else will come to you for help, but they will be using a different system. They all do roughly the same thing, but different lay outs, so it just takes a bit to wrap your head around.
Rating:5
Date received:Jun 2018
A Good Bookkeeper is essential to a thriving business.
Reviewer's Qualification:Certificate IV Financial Services (Bookkeeping)
Experience:10+ years
Organisation size:Medium (20-199 employees)
Specialisation:a large variety of industries
The good things:The good thing about operating my own business as a BAS Agent/Bookkeeper is the diversity of clients I have. From Hotels, Motels, Beauticians, Mechanical Workshops, Rural Producers, Building & Construction, Bakery and Chemist, no day is ever the same. At the end of the day, I can walk away from my client knowing I have provided an important service, that leaves the client with a smile on their face.
The challenges:The challenges are dealing with time constraints & ever changing tax laws which put a large amount of stress on small business. Introducing new methods and programs to my clients so they see it as an improvement for their business.
Rating:4
Date received:Jun 2018
Bookkeeping is not boring, is exciting.
Reviewer's Qualification:Diploma of accounting
Experience:10+ years
Organisation size:Medium (20-199 employees)
The good things:Every day is different. you could work on payroll one day and calling ATO the next day or be dealing with cash flow and be forecasting the other day. there is a lot of variety in this role.
The challenges:The challenges come around the end of the month if you have to do end month reporting and also end of financial year which would be very busy preparing payroll rollover and end year financial reports. but if you like your job you can deal with it.
Rating:5
Date received:Jun 2018
Bookkeeping is a behind-the-scenes job, but one role every business must have!
Reviewer's Qualification:Bach of Commerce
Experience:5 - 9 years
Organisation size:Small (1-19 employees)
The good things:You are able to find part time roles and that is fantastic if you have a family. I work 4 days school hours and I have the flexibility to swap my off day if say I need to be at a parent teacher interview or help out at a school event.
The challenges:There are specific periodic datelines like month ends and year ends and if you are involved in BAS lodgement it is every quarter and if you prepare payroll there’s the Super payments and end of the financial year preparation of payment summaries. It’s manageable, you just need to be prepared that the work load is not always at the same pace.
Source: SEEK Role Reviews

What are the job opportunities for Bookkeepers?

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Job opportunities

Bookkeeper jobs on SEEK
Source: SEEK

Projected job growth

National increase over next 5 years
2.1%
2018
2023
Source: LMIP.Bookkeepers
Latest Bookkeeper jobs on SEEK
Source: SEEK job ads and SEEK Profile data

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